They say that big things come in small
packages. Now, I don’t know who these “they” are, but I’m pretty sure that few
people have heard “their” lesser known, saying, “Great bands come from small islands”. If you look up this phrase,
I’m pretty sure the first band cited as an example will be Psycroptic.
creating waves in the tech-death metal scene since the early 2000’s. They’ve
toured with some big names like Nile and Deicide over the years and gained quite
a following. Having recently switch labels (from Nuclear Blast to Prosthetic
Records), the band have release their self-titled album as a way to
re-introduce themselves under the new label. ‘Psycroptic’ gives you a taste of what the band is all about in one
very tight and intense dose of death metal.
after about 10 to 15 listens, I was regretting not having discovered them
earlier. These guys are a force to be reckoned with, and make that clear on
this album right from the get-go. Blending multiple styles but staying true to
the tech-death core, it seems like Psycroptic have laid bare their style and
influences for all to see on this album. I was able to pick out multiple genre
influences in their songs – from prog and hardcore to thrash and the obvious
so much that you don’t even know when you’re done listening to it. The eight songs
totaling up to 40 minutes go by you at a blistering pace and leave you wanting
more. This ability to keep listeners coming back is what I feel will be the
secret to the longevity of this album.
‘Psycroptic’ is extremely diverse in the way its songs are written. There is a
certain dynamic quality in the songs that keeps your brain and ears engaged as
you go through them. It’s almost an intellectual exercise. The same range can
be found in the album as a whole; you could be headbanging to a brutal riff in
one song, jumping about to an insane breakdown the next song or freaking out
over a super-fast thrash riff later on in the album.
aware that there is only one guitarist here. I went through the album twice or
thrice with the assumption that the complex riffs were being pulled off by a
duo. Even with one guitar, Joe Haley
is able to create a massive sound and at the same time create some interesting
atmosphere when switching to cleans. Vocalist Jason Peppiatt has an enunciated style of delivery, Reminiscent of
that of Gojira’s Joe Duplantier. Dave
Haley on drums just kills it on every song. On almost all the songs, there
is something interesting going on the drums in addition to the standard death
metal blasts; be it the fills that he gives, or the use of the cymbals, or the
tribal drums that are present on some of the tracks. Cameron Grant complements the guitar well, assisting Joe in
creating the aforementioned massive sound. Surely this is an art that has been
perfected by the group over the years.
drums sounded a bit too dry, and the mix was quite treble-heavy. A combination
of these elements leads to the songs missing the all-important gut-punch heavy
sound that you would expect from death metal. Not loading that low-end causes a
sense of fatigue when you are listening to the album back-to-back.
complexity, the catchy hooks, the fast drumming, and its running length is
perfect. You never get bored when you are listening to the album, and the only
thing you want to do when you’re done listening is start all over again.